The winner of National Film Award for Best Direction, Rahul Dholakia is an acclaimed director who is known for making films like Parzania
(2007), Mumbai Cutting
(2008), and Raees
(2017). Before making feature films, the director has made several documentaries like New York Taxi Drivers and Teenage Parents.
Born in Mumbai, India, Rahul is the son of Raksha Dholakia and Parry Dholakia who worked as an advertising professional. Rahul has one elder sister named Moha. He attended the Champion School, Mumbai and later went to Jamnabai Narsee School where he completed his schooling. He pursued his bachelor degree in science from St. Xavier`s College.
Whilst he was still studying in college, he started working in an advertising agency named Mora Ava, which was owned by his father. After working for some time with his father he went on to work as a production assistant with Channel 4 in London where he worked on several documentaries. In 1990, he moved to New York to pursue his master`s degree in filmmaking from the New York Institute of Technology and since then he has been shuffling between Mumbai and Corona, California. After completing his studies, Rahul made ran a TV station called TV Asia before eventually making his first feature film Kehtaa Hai Dil Baar Baar
(2002), a Hindi-English bilingual film.
As a Director
Rahul Dholakia made his feature film directorial debut with Kehtaa Hai Dil Baar Baar
in 2002. The Hindi-English bilingual film featured Jimmy Shergill
, Paresh Rawal
and Kim Sharma
in lead roles. The film is noted for being the first Hindi film that was shot entirely in the United States. Following his debut film, the director took a sabbatical for five years before making his comeback in 2007 with the critically acclaimed film Parzania
. The film featuring Naseeruddin Shah
, Raj Zutshi
, Parzan Dastur
and Corin Nemec
was inspired by the true story of a 10-year-old Parsi boy named Azhar Mody who went missing during the communal riots in Gujarat, 2002. The film, which premiered at the 36th India International Film Festival in Goa not only received wide critical applause but also many laurels including the Ramnath Goenka Memorial Award.
After the huge success of Parzania, the following year, the following year Dholakia wrote and directed one of the 11 stories from the anthology film, Mumbai Cutting. The film, which also had several stalwart directors like Anurag Kashyap
, Sudhir Mishra
, and Rituparno Ghosh
had its world premiere at the ArcLight Hollywood in April 2008. Two years later, Rahul Dholakia directed the Bollywood action thriller film, Lamhaa
featuring Sanjay Dutt
, Bipasha Basu
, Anupam Kher
and Kunal Kapoor
in pivotal roles. The film received mixed critical reviews and turned out to be an average earner at the box office. His 2017 release include the acting crime thriller Raees
starring Shah Rukh Khan
, Mahira Khan
and Nawazuddin Siddiqui
As a Producer
The director-cum-writer made his production debut in 2005 with Parzania
, which was also his directorial venture and his claim to fame.